La Cañada Outlook
By: Mirjam Swanson
August 14, 2014
If students in the Sagebrush area eventually do begin phasing into La Cañada Unified schools, it won’t be until 2016 at the earliest.
In March, it seemed as though there was a possibility that a transfer could be enacted as soon as this 2014-15 school year. Then, in June, both districts updated an FAQ document on their websites indicating that no transfer would occur until 2015.
This week, Eva Lueck, chief business and financial officer for Glendale Unified, said the Los Angeles County Office of Education advised both districts that an agreement reached this month — or even a couple weeks ago — wouldn’t allow enough time to complete the transfer processes for the 2015-16 school year.
“And La Cañada advised us that rather than work quickly to a false deadline, because we couldn’t effect it for 2015 anyway, their preference was to really work through it, not to rush into a decision,” Lueck said.
GUSD called off a workshop for its board members to study the issue further before their next meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 12, and Lueck said she didn’t anticipate the issue appearing on the agenda.Sagebrush advocate Tom Smith said he thinks slowing deliberations could benefit the process in the end.
“Everybody is kind of taking a breath,” said Smith, who heads Unite LCF, the citizens’ group behind the latest request for a territory transfer that would send students living in westernmost La Cañada Flintridge to LCUSD schools rather than the GUSD schools they’ve traditionally attended. “The air was just being sucked out of the room by so much of the emotion, and a lot of it was just not completely true information. It’s good that everybody takes a stand-down.”
The tug-of-war over the 385-acre territory west of Rosebank Drive dates back to the 1960s and, in the past, has often turned contentious. This citizens’ petition is the fourth attempt for a transfer, in addition to three failed legislative proposals.
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